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Rant about Grandma - what would you do?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Professor Dumbledore, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Professor Dumbledore

    Professor Dumbledore New commenter

    This is the Grandma who sends me letters telling me how I would never become a Dep Head while I'm so fat, I don't make the most of my looks, how I will go to Hell if I do not come back to the Church, etc, etc. Well I have upset her and I partly feel guilty, but mostly annoyed.
    She is an ex Head, but has been retired for about 30 years. She invited me to dinner the other week, which was nice, and while on the phone we talked about about some of the behaviour problems I have to deal with in my class. She is CONVINCED that if I tell them some bible stories where God has "punished" some wrong-doer or other, they will see the error of their ways.
    Anyway, at the lunch she presented me with this big, calligraphy-written banner with that bible quote about "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" or somethnig similar, with the bible reference underneath. It was to put up in my classroom to deter any potential trouble makers. Well I thanked her, as it was kind of her to make the effort, but I had no intention of putting it up in my classroom.
    She rang last night and asked what effect it had had, and I couldn't lie. Well, I could have if I had thought of one in advnce. So, she was really p.issed off at me, and said I was being a coward for hiding my beliefs, etc. I told her they weren't my beliefs and she ended up putting the phone down on me.
    I feel guily and angry. I don't want to make her angry, but she drives me insane. She always asks about RE lessons and goes off into massive rants when I explain we're doing Sikhism or whatever. Apparently she knows of another young teacher who "only does the bare minimum on other religions but mostly focusses on Christianity as we are a Christian country." Well goody for her.
    Sorry, this might sound a bit of an insane rant, but I am really cross. Should I try to make the peace or let it run its course? I'm fully expecting another of her awful letters in the next day or two, expressing her disappointment and telling me I am Hellbound.
     
  2. Professor Dumbledore

    Professor Dumbledore New commenter

    This is the Grandma who sends me letters telling me how I would never become a Dep Head while I'm so fat, I don't make the most of my looks, how I will go to Hell if I do not come back to the Church, etc, etc. Well I have upset her and I partly feel guilty, but mostly annoyed.
    She is an ex Head, but has been retired for about 30 years. She invited me to dinner the other week, which was nice, and while on the phone we talked about about some of the behaviour problems I have to deal with in my class. She is CONVINCED that if I tell them some bible stories where God has "punished" some wrong-doer or other, they will see the error of their ways.
    Anyway, at the lunch she presented me with this big, calligraphy-written banner with that bible quote about "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" or somethnig similar, with the bible reference underneath. It was to put up in my classroom to deter any potential trouble makers. Well I thanked her, as it was kind of her to make the effort, but I had no intention of putting it up in my classroom.
    She rang last night and asked what effect it had had, and I couldn't lie. Well, I could have if I had thought of one in advnce. So, she was really p.issed off at me, and said I was being a coward for hiding my beliefs, etc. I told her they weren't my beliefs and she ended up putting the phone down on me.
    I feel guily and angry. I don't want to make her angry, but she drives me insane. She always asks about RE lessons and goes off into massive rants when I explain we're doing Sikhism or whatever. Apparently she knows of another young teacher who "only does the bare minimum on other religions but mostly focusses on Christianity as we are a Christian country." Well goody for her.
    Sorry, this might sound a bit of an insane rant, but I am really cross. Should I try to make the peace or let it run its course? I'm fully expecting another of her awful letters in the next day or two, expressing her disappointment and telling me I am Hellbound.
     
  3. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    i think, grandma or not, it's time to tell her to **** off. nicely. ish.
     
  4. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Do enough to keep the peace ... or regain peace.

    Perhaps you could write back?
    Or write to her first...
     
  5. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    [​IMG]

    She sounds quite good value really. Point out that an adult-adult relationship is what you require or she can sling her hook. Then the pair of you can just enjoy a good argument now and then.
     
  6. I agree with Emily. What an annoying old woman.
     
  7. Professor Dumbledore

    Professor Dumbledore New commenter

    Thanks Lilac and Emily. I think regaining the peace is the sensible option, but part of me thinks this might be a good time to explain to her how I feel about certain things. Her letters always go in the bin, but I do read them first, and it really gets me down reading about how I'm fat not good enough,etc. She is not trying to hurt me, but she really is. Uggggggh I hate family ****.
     
  8. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    How would you feel if these "suggestions" had been put to you by an OFSTED inspector? I am sure that you would have dismissed them completely and not giiven them a second thought.
    Sharing some genetic material does NOT make anyone an expert in how to run your classroom or your life.
    Ignore them.
     
  9. Professor Dumbledore

    Professor Dumbledore New commenter

    Lurk - I'm **** at arguing! But you are right about the adult relationship.
    Anyway, got to pop out now. Thanks for the responses.
     
  10. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    terribly sorry, but if she's writing things like that, she can't possibly NOT know that she's hurting you, and she's not stopping herself. She's plain nasty and needs 360° criticism.
    (i'm glad she wasn't my HT. imagine how she treated her staff and children.)
     
  11. Quote her a Bible passage that explains your point of view. And then smite her verily.
     
  12. Prof why not speak to your parents about her and let them know the negative effect she is having on you. They could maybe give you advice for how to deal with her or even speak to her on your behalf.
    I think that I would actually avoid her until she learns to bite her tongue, I would explain to her I was going to do this and then refuse to answer the phone if it's her number, put her letters go straight in the bin and forget she even exists.
    Life is too short and precious to have such negative influences so unless she is going to curb her vitriol I would say adios!
     
  13. Tell her that whilst you agree entirely with the sentiment expressed in the verse of scripture, your school would not allow you put such a verse up as it is not "politically correct".
    Suggest that perhaps she can find some alternative wise expression with the same basic sentiment, that you could put up.
    Tell her that your hands are really tied by the "establishment", and bemoan the "establishment" for making it such.
    Do all this with your fingers tightly crossed behind your back, and your tongue firmly in your cheek :p
    She's old, indulge her a little, and don't take it too personally. Next time she gives you a banner to put up in your classroom, prepare a page of lies and keep them by the phone just in case. I doubt very much that you are going to change her now, and I doubt that even though she is a right royal pain in the ****, you really want to lose her from your life at this stage.
    Just think, when you have finished dealing with her, you could have a career in the Diplomatic Service, or as a peace envoy for the United Nations ;)
     
  14. prof - have very similar relationship with my uber-catholic (in name not behaviour) granddad - big row one christmas eve when he told me i "couldnt even find a decent catholic boy to marry". can only sympathise! and advise keeping contact to a bare minimum,
    apologies for typing, feeding baby!
     
  15. Oh it's a tough dilemma. Part of me wants to agree with people who say "cut her out" because she is a bully and it's important to look after your emotional health and not to let somebody drag you down.
    On the other hand she is an oldie and a family member so i am a bit of a forgiver in that respect.
    The key thing for you to understand is - this is not about you! Your grandma sounds like someone who is very unhappy and desperately looking for validation and clinging on to times in the past when she had it. Every time you talk to her remember that. Feel sorry for her, every stab at you is her angry stab at the world that she isn't "important" anymore.
    On a practical level i would also not indulge any conversations about school or my personal level but maybe think if there is another area (cooking, gardening, music?) where you actually value your grandma's experience and indulge in that - she can feel important again and you might actually profit from that?
    Only suggestions from afar - good luck!
     
  16. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Tell her you've converted to Satanism, and wear an upside down crucifix and a visible henna '666' tattoo next time you visit.
     
  17. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    Or just hand her a hand-written banner with 1 Timothy 2:12 on it
     
  18. Shifter

    Shifter New commenter

    My gran was barking mad too
     
  19. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    See her as a possible source of material for your own old-age eccentricities.
    Or you could try responding to everything with "that will be an ecumenical matter".
     
  20. Jonha

    Jonha New commenter

    I am guessing your Grandmother is in her 70s or even 80s? If so, then I think you should just develop a bit more backbone and laugh off what she is saying, or stop meeting her seriousness with seriousness of your own. Have a cup of tea with her, take her for a walk in the park. By all means let her know how you can feel hurt by some of her comments, but keep the mood relaxed positive - for how will you feel if you are rude to her and suddenly she isn't around anymore for you to apologise? She is your mother's mother - cut her some slack.
     

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